dedication: to MyPenIsSharperThanYourSword. 'cos you asked. & you're sweet. & les, for having existential conversations with me at midnight.
notes: so here's how it works: i spam NnoiNel, then i write about NnoiNel, then i… spam… more…
title: her dark materials
summary: Oh, the conception that people do anything at weddings other than copulate like rabbits. "Don't you know that people only come to these things to get laid?" — Nnoitra/Neliel.
Three hours before Ichigo's wedding, Nel sat in the pews, and fumed.
Hadn't it been long enough, yet? Hadn't they sat through Ichigo's moaning and Rukia's violence and Byakuya's disapproval and Isshin's… Isshin-ness? Hadn't they prepared invitations and screamed about seating and fought about the colour choices enough, already? Hadn't they all been through enough?
(Of course they hadn't.)
Nel had always thought that Ichigo was going to be the death of her.
Apparently, his wedding was going to be the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back.
Nel pressed her fingers to her temples, closed her eyes, and counted to ten.
—seven, eight, nine—
The jarring sound of a slamming door rudely pulled Nel out of her deep-breathing exercises. She looked up, bothered, and caught sight of the perp.
He was wearing an eye-patch and smirking.
The dark hair and the height and the spindliness barely even registered. Even the smirk barely made an indent Just. Just. The eye-patch.
Nel had a vague memory of that eye-patch, but no memory of the face.
(There was an alcohol-induced haze and Rangiku stealing Kuukaku's garter belt and maybe her bouquet, and Hallibel out-drinking Ichigo and also Nanao trying to keep everyone from killing each other.
She almost snorted at the hazy image.)
No recollection of that face, nothing in retrospect of that smirk, no memory of that stance. He sauntered down the aisle, darker than black in a blazer and slacks. He might as well have been a study in contrast, Nel thought idly as she watched him out of the corner of her eye.
He sat in the pews on the other side of the church—how did he know Rukia? He came across like someone out of a bad mafia movie—and looked, for a moment, like he was praying; head down and silent; fingertips pressed together, barely breathing.
She felt like she ought to know him. For a moment, Nel looked down at her fingers and studied her nails. They were lovely; manicured and shined to pale pearl perfection, completely hiding the burning flash of phantom pain looking at them brought.
Nel folded her hands in her lap.
Beauty was pain.
If Nel knew nothing else, she certainly knew that.
She shook her head to herself, smiling a little at the nonsensical path her thoughts had taken. In—Nel checked her watch—two hours and seventeen minutes, her oldest friend would marry the love of his life, and things would be good.
(The ache in her hands would be lost amid alcohol-induced lust and laughter.)
Nel stood up, and very nearly stretched towards the ceiling.
Just because Ichigo was getting married in a little over two hours didn't mean she had to spend said two hours bored out of her wits. Nel left the interior of the church in a flurry of lilac and periwinkle.
The dark man in the pews was forgotten before the doors closed behind her.
/ / /
The wedding march had tears pooling in Nel's eyes.
She always cried at weddings. Always.
She wiped away the tears and watched, overjoyed, as her best friend lit up like a light-bulb. The church rose as one as the bride walked; Nel could hear the luxurious rustle of satin as the girl moved towards her, but that wasn't where she was looking.
Ichigo was sparkling, which would have been hilarious in any other situation.
But here, it just made Nel happy.
Her dumbass best friend was going to be married to her other best friend and Nel was going to cry like a baby.
(How long had she been waiting for this?)
Nel sat in the front pew and watched her two favourite people get married to each other with tears pouring down her cheeks.
/ / /
Getting staggeringly drunk at the reception was the best part of weddings, Nel thought with a self-satisfied nod.
She was standing with an already-tipsy Rangiku and an annoyed Nanao, sipping champagne from flutes that floated along on barely-visible waiters (only the best for Kuchiki Byakuya's younger sibling). The three of them had spent the early afternoon giggling and working their way through two bottles of sauvignon blanc, and Nel wasn't about to stop now.
The night had only just begun!
It was all flashing lights and darkness and laughter, good food and free alcohol.
Nel danced with Yachiru and Wonderwiess (after the horrid tradition of throwing the bouquet); she let the little ones duck and laugh as they swung around her to the sound of the DJ.
"I need to get something to drink!" she laughed at them, and despite the children's bothered cries, Nel weaved off the dance-floor and headed to the open bar.
Rangiku was twelve-ways-to-Sunday drunk at the end, sitting on and polar-bear kissing someone Nel had never seen in her life. Nel would have rolled her eyes if it had been anything new.
But mostly, the open bar was empty, save for the bartender and someone at the other end.
Nel ignored her friend and whoever else it was, ordered a double stout and downed that thing like a champ.
(Ichigo would have been proud.)
And then she ordered a banana daiquiri, and took the rest of the night slow. She stood, drink in hand, and glanced at Rangiku—it didn't look like she'd be surfacing any time soon, Nel thought with a sigh.
She bit down on the straw, brushing haphazard curls out of her face, and slurped the icy goodness down. Finished a first, ordered a second and began to suck it.
Maybe Byakuya needed to be bothered—that was always an amusing possibility.
It was ten-to-twelve.
Nel stood, and tossed her hair over her shoulder with a flick of her wrist. Mumbling along to the lyrics in the background, Nel sashayed on high heels and higher skirts, daiquiri in hand, she literally tumbled into someone. Not thirty seconds later, Nel found herself soaked in the combined sin of liquor and banana daiquiri. She could feel the mix staining her dress, soaking through to her skin, cold, sweet and drippy.
Annoyance was a pleasant fizz underneath Nel's, and she squashed it to give herself long enough to give whoever it was a piece of her mind. She looked up.
Nel looked up into the face of dark man from earlier in the pews, and for a moment was caught thinking of dust in the sunlight and the way he looked like he'd been praying.
"S'been a long time, girl," he said. The smirk that stretched across his face couldn't have been less innocent if he tried.
"I'm sorry," Nel replied, narrowing her eyes. "Do I know you?"
"Nah," he replied, shaking his head. "But I know ya. Ya can' hold yer liquor, can ya?"
"Obviously, neither can you," Nel replied, sharp.
(What did he know?)
"An' how'd'ya figure that?" he asked, and Nel thought she could hear a chuckle in his voice.
That chuckle woke a thought from somewhere in the hazy recesses of Nel's memory banks; something about it against her throat, something about the dark and heat—dark in his eyes, in her heart, in between her thighs and the softest whisper of oh, oh my god—
Nel pushed the thought away, but not the flush.
Instead, she indicated her ruined dress. "If you could, I don't think I'd be wet."
The innuendo was not lost on him. It sparked in his eyes, and Nel couldn't help but take a step back, and then another and then another. Her back hit a wall and he bent over her with an arm above her head. Nel felt small and fragile, but it was with fierce fire in her eyes that she met his gaze.
"Ya wouldn't, would ya?" He chuckled again, and Nel felt it vibrate through her entire frame.
Nel reached for his tie, and asked "Don't you know that people only come to these things to get laid?"
"'Course," he growled.
Nel smiled in a funny way. She tugged on his tie, and pulled him down to her level
"I don't even know your name," she told him conversationally.
"Ya don' need to know m'name," he very nearly snarled. He hitched her up against the wall, biting at her ear.
(There was something eerily familiar about this situation the clinical part of Nel that never stopped thinking thought. When had this happened before?)
"We can't—not here," Nel gasped into his ear. "People—see."
He grunted and kissed her once.
It was a solid explosion of heat and want; it was something darker than Nel had experienced before and it was sick and perfect and she was clinging to him because he was right, she could barely hold her alcohol, and she couldn't stand at all.
His arm curved around her waist, fingers digging into her hips.
The burn went all the way to her stomach and Nel shivered, shivered, shivered. They hit the cab like murder and lightning and Nel was on her back (imagine that), reaching, pulling, itching for closer and closer with her fingers in long black hair and murmurs at her lips.
He held her by the waist, and all was dark.
/ / /
Nel woke in the grey silence of pre-dawn. For a moment, she lay still, tucked under sheets and a dark comforter, and listened to the thump of whoever this was' heart. She was sticky and sweaty and peeling herself away from him a minute later, shaking her hair out of her face and slipping out from underneath his arm.
His eye-patch was sitting on the nighttable, and Nel was struck with the sudden urge to press her lips to his scarred eye—screaming, screaming, against the wall with his mouth on her pulse and a whimper in her throat—
She shook it off, shimmied into her stained dress—it still smelled faintly like whiskey and banana—and snuck to the door.
She slipped outside with a sigh of relief.
That was that.
(She still didn't know his name. She'd have to find that out, next time.)
notes3: please leave a review, for reviews make me write. :)